Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 77--18 months, 3/4 down, or the Sister Missionary Mark!!

On Sunday, January 29th, Connor hit is 18 month mark!! This is big!!--it means that he is 3/4 of the way through his 2-year mission. In his own words, "it has gone by fast in a weird, slow kind of way." There is no better way to describe it! It seems crazy that he ONLY has 6 months left. It also seems crazy that he STILL has 6 months left (after all, that is half of a year). We have been doing a lot of work recently trying to get him ready for the upcoming fall semester at BYU--that has made his return seem ever more real. I am sure this last quarter will have days, weeks and possibly even months that drag slowly and those that will seem to fly by. But, I do not wish the next six months away--for his sake. A mission is an adventure of a lifetime and I hope these last months will be his best ones yet, no matter how time seems to move or how real it begins to feel.

Here is his letter for the week.

I couldn't come up with anything clever, but maybe the subject line will at least help with your organization :)

So! Sorry it's SO early! We had a new schedule change, so preparation day now starts at 8:00. My new email time is 10:45-12:30, but the zone leader asked us to switch times today, so we came in earlier.

It feels so good to be writing you :) I hope your week went really well! I hope you're enjoying your new job! Keep me updated on how that's going - I've been praying that you like it!

A quick update for the week: We had a Worldwide Mission Broadcast on Wednesday - so many cool doctrines and insights! They also (as I hinted at) changed the schedule a little bit. We now plan in the morning, and have extra time to get ready in the morning and to wind down at night. It's fantastic :) I went on exchanges with Elder Gardner in my district, and he's so cool! It was a really good day! We ALMOST got to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead with Kevin, but he wasn't feeling very well that morning... but we had the opportunity to give a blessing to a couple missionaries in our district, and visit someone in the hospital, and have a lesson with Scottie - so it worked out pretty well. We had Stake Conference yesterday, and Saturday night, with Elder Zabellos visiting. I got to see all my old YSA friends (since we're in the same stake) which was so much fun! :) I've realized recently how much I need to improve in charity, so I'm working on that one.... it can't come fast enough! Why is progress so slow!? :)

We have a pretty good week lined up! Hopefully I'll have some good updates for you next week :) We have a couple investigators that are progressing pretty well, and some that aren't so much. We found a new investigator this week, that needs the gospel so bad! Hopefully she'll recognize how much this will help her. My companion is doing well; I've loved being with him! Can you believe we're already 4 weeks into the transfer?!?! Ah!!! Oh yah, I hit 18 months yesterday! Can you believe that?! I can't decide... is 6 months long or not? :) I've come to love my district so much lately - they're all such good missionaries, and it's such a blessing to be with them. And my zone leaders are stellar! :)

Well, I think that's it for today! The shoes are holding up well :) I'm wearing the Christmas tie you sent me today! It's so shiny!

I love you so much!!! Thank you so much for everything! I'll look forward to hearing from you next week! Sorry again for the time switch-up :/ Have a wonderful week! :)

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

And, here is the letter he sent to Shon. Usually they are fairly short, but there are a few things this week, so I am adding it as well.

Hey Dad!!!

Thank you SOOO much for looking at all of that stuff and helping with it all! That's super good to know about the banking accounts. We can probably figure all this out in August... but I feel like I'm gonna owe you guys at least some for all the stuff you've sent me (clothes, hymnbook, etc)? Anyways, I have a better nest egg than I had thought, so I'm happy to hear that! Again, not a big deal for me to know right now, but does the mutual fund look like it's doing any good, or have I continued losing a little from it? Just curious :)

Thank you for getting me all ready for college! That's SO exciting about the half-tuition!!!! That's going to make life so much easier! Thanks for working at BYU!! :) And thank you for the books! And for persuading me to do those scholarships :)

That's cool about the immersions in the Old Testament. There are so many things that are so unclear and unanswered from the Bible - it's pretty frustrating! I want to really be able to delve into that stuff more when I get home, but then I have to remind myself how busy I'll be! I have so many goals for when I get home that I'm gonna have no time to sleep! And I'm sure I'll be much more lazy than I'm expecting :)

Our week went quite well! We had a great Stake Conference, with Elder Zabellos of the Seventy attending. He talked about the strength of unity, in marriage, in wards, etc. It was very interesting because in a mission broadcast on Wednesday, Elder Bednar talked about the power that comes from the unity of the gospel. Not just faith, or repentance, or baptism; but faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, all as one gospel that is centered together in Christ. I've always found it interesting, too, about the unity of the Godhead. I feel like there's something there that I don't quite understand, but this helped me better realize the importance and strength that comes from complete unity. That's why we need to be one with our Savior.

Thanks again for everything you always do for me! I love you so much! I hope the week goes well for you! Please continue to be safe :)

Elder Connor Hopkin

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